Two women are burning their Harvard and Tufts sweats to protest campus sexual assault as part of a #justsaysorry campaign. The sexual assault survivors plan on burning one item associated with their institution every week until their former alma maters apologize for the way they mishandled their sexual assault cases.
Wagatwe Wanjuki, a sexual assault survivor from Tufts, started the campaign when she tossed her Tufts sweatshirt on a charcoal grill and set in on fire during a livestreamed Facebook video. As her sweatshirt went up in flames, she said “I’m not proud to wear the sweatshirt of an institution that refuses to acknowledge that I exist, that survivors should be helped.” Although Wanjuki’s assailant was not expelled and graduated from Tufts on time, she was expelled. She was on academic leave for her poor performance as a result of her assault and when she tried to appeal the decision, the university said no.
Kamilah Willingham, a sexual assault survivor from Harvard explains her decision to start this campaign by saying, “They just decided, even though he had been found responsible, to let him back in. And it felt like they were saying to me, ‘Waking up in the middle of the night with a classmate trying to sexually assault you, is just what you can expect as a female student at Harvard Law.’ And that was unacceptable to me.” On Tuesday, Willingham burned her Harvard Law acceptance letter during a livestream Facebook video.
Other survivors have also been joining in on the campaign and been doing their own burnings while asking for apologies from their institutions.
Wanjuki and Willingham plan to continue burning one item each week until their institutions apologize or they run out of items.